Monthly Archives: June 2013 - Page 2

Day 331 – Summer Begins

My name is Rick and my cancer status is unknown…

Today I dropped my youngest off for camp. The normal bittersweet feelings of parting were further complicated by the memories of last year’s medical situation. What does the summer bring this year for her? Two years ago she broke her elbow while at camp. Last summer she returned to her father’s recent surgical recovery and the news her grandmother was in the hospital. Will she be summoned from camp by a grandparent’s passing? More medical problems for Dad? Or, can she catch a break and make it through summer without trauma? I wonder if she has thought at all about how camp has brought bad things in her recent past. I know camp is a very important positive influence on her and she looks forward to it all year. This year, it certainly isn’t starting very well as she awoke 1 day before camp with one of her eye’s swollen shut. It is not clear what the problem is but she had to go off to camp with a medical problem. When she survives all this, and she will of course, she is going to be a very resilient person. I am so proud of her. My only hope is that she learns to express herself more consistently.

The guitar has been calling me for many months and I finally carved out the time to begin playing again a few weeks ago. I was surprised at how much I remembered and how quickly I returned to my previous mediocrity. My eldest daughter also has the bug and we are now playing together. Boy, that is awesome I must say. This go around I am concentrating on learning songs instead of just “getting better.” YouTube is an incredible resource. My commitment is to play every day without exception. It has been great so far.

I am spending more time on the porch of my house. It is not very useful during the colder months but now that the air conditioning is on in the house, it is my only refuge from the cold inside. The porch reminds me of the time spent recovering from surgery last year. I cannot say for sure whether that reminder is a good thing or bad… but it is a reminder nevertheless.

I spent a wonderful day the other day with my youngest during the run-up to camp. We went on a nice walk, played in the park, drove the convertible to the shore, played around there, ate great food and then came home. Basically, we hit all the highlights even though we no longer have a “shore house” to call our own. We talked about a bunch of important stuff and she seemed to have had a great day. Of course she woke up the next day with her eye swollen shut (see above) but I really believe she had a good time. Hopefully she remembers it as a good day and not the day before her eye swelled making her look like a freak (according to her). She plans on wearing her new shades until the swelling goes down… as if anyone at camp really cares about that stuff. I am sure she would be ridiculed by her not particularly nice friends here but I doubt very much she would get ribbed at camp.

I wonder what she is doing right now?

Today was a high quality day with my elder daughter. We have been bonding over guitar, eating healthy, college and photography. I brought her to a local arboretum and we had a blast playing around with the camera. I have 3 very high quality but alas completely manual lenses. The quality of the glass more than makes up for the total lack of technology. We have been enjoying the effort of using these dinosaurs. The best picture of the day is shown along with this post.

On to medical matters… My father-in-law continues to improve albeit slowly. A major concern is that he has been a bit despondent over these past few days. Basically, he is trying to decide whether to fight for recovery or give up. I cannot blame him for not wanting to spend possibly the rest of his life in a hospital or nursing home. He has been told that recovery is possible so he is going to give it a shot. We are all behind him and I think he feels it. As for me, I am feeling a definite energy burst these last few days. I have been staying up later yet feeling more like my old self during the day. Yes, I am still tired but I don’t feel as lethargic. Let’s hope this is a permanent change and not just a temporary condition. My other medical conditions all seem about the same mainly a dry mouth and painful shoulder; highly tolerable with the proper mindset. I spent the better part of the day in the sun today which is kind of freaky. I wonder if the sun’s rays have an increased cancer causing effect now that I am a melanoma patient. Nice thought, right?

As an aside. I realized while at the beach the other day that I was going to be out without a hat if I went swimming. As a result, I was forced to put sunscreen on the skin graft atop my head. The skin is so incredibly thin up there I worry that rubbing the lotion off would rub off the new skin as well. The lotion did come off and the graft is still in place. My daughter suggested that I swim in a cap. I worry that those freaky tight things would pull the graft off even worse.